Piñol admits two SPIS in North Cotabato are not working
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Solar Powered Irrigation Systems (SPIS) that are being deployed by the Department of Agriculture (DA) go through checks and improvements.
This was after a local news report has surfaced, exposing the two SPIS in North Cotabato, part of 169 units being built all over the country, that are not working now because the creeks where water is drawn had dried up.
“My answer? True! Confirmed! Does that make the Solar-Powered Irrigation System concept wrong and those units useless? No. The concept of tapping the heat of the sun to generate power to run water pumps to irrigate the fields is not new. It is employed by Israel, India, Southern California and many other advanced agricultural areas in the world,” Piñol said.
Piñol said these were two of the first units to be built by DA and it is expected that there would be challenges to be encountered.
“It was the farmers who identified the water sources and our engineers built the SPIS where they recommended it to be built. Yes, the creeks have dried up but that does that mean that everything is lost? No! In fact, this week our engineers will conduct water drilling operations to establish an alternate source of water from the underground,” the DA chief said.
“Water could be drawn from the deep well to fill up the reservoir and make the Solar-Powered Irrigation Systems work again. So now, the farmers will have two sources of water – the creek, when there is enough water to be drawn, and the deep well when drought or El Niño would dry up the creeks,” he added.
In the Philippines, SPIS was embraced by the DA only in March 2017. Today, an Israel Agro-Industrial Corporation has offered to fund and establish a state of the art SPIS network which would be linked by a computer which would monitor whether the units are working efficiently or not.